Frank Robinson, MLB Hall of Famer and Pioneering Manager, Dead at 83

Frank Robinson, MLB Hall of Famer and Pioneering Manager, Dead at 83

After his tremendous playing career, Robinson became the first African American manager in Major League Baseball.

A fearsome hitter, Robinson ranks 10th on the career home run list with 586. His No. 20 was also retired by the Reds, Orioles and Indians.

He also served as MLB's executive vice president of baseball development, with his focus on increasing African-American participation in the sport. He spent the last 12 years working in different roles in the Commissioner's office, most recently serving as a senior advisor to Commissioner Rob Manfred. That includes becoming MLB's first black manager in 1974.

Robinson hit two home runs against the Reds - of all clubs - in teaming with future Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson to win another crown for the Orioles in 1970.

He was the Rookie of the Year in 1956 when he hit a rookie-record 38 homers for the Reds, and won the Triple Crown in 1966 during his first season with the Orioles.

Because he helped pave the way for future generations of black players and managers, Robinson will always be among the most important figures in MLB's history.

"With that 1966 season, Robinson became the first - and remains the only - player to win the MVP in both leagues".

Pitch after pitch, Robinson smashed into the palm trees in left-center field.

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"Pitchers did me a favor when they knocked me down", Robinson said.

"So honored to not just have known you Frank as a great man, manager, person, and human being, but who I truly called a good friend and someone who I honestly played as hard as I could for, hoping you would respect me back", Schneider wrote on Instagram.

He remained the Indians' manager for the 1977 season and was honored by the franchise in 2017 with a statue outside of Progressive Field. He took over the Montreal Expos in 2002 and moved with the team to D.C. for the 2005 season.

Robinson, one of the game's most feared sluggers and a fierce competitor, starred in both of baseball major leagues.

Robinson became a player-manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975, hitting a home run on Opening Day that year at the age of 39.

While Robinson dealt with racism and segregation during his career and broke barriers as an African-American manager, he said his accomplishments pale in comparison to those of Jackie Robinson.

But basketball wasn't for Robinson, who went on to sign with the Reds out of high school for $3,000. "But how long the door would stay open depended on basically the way I conducted myself and the success that I would have".

Robinson was the NL MVP with Cincinnati in 1961 and Baltimore in 1966. He eventually settled in the Ashburton neighborhood in a house on Cedardale Road.

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